* Indie Next List Pick * Indie Bestseller *
Sixteen bloodless bodies. Two teenagers. One impossible explanation. In this edge-of-your-seat mystery from #1 New York Times bestselling author Kendare Blake, the truth is as hard to believe as it is to find.
Summer 1958. A gruesome killer plagues the Midwest, leaving behind a trail of bodies completely drained of blood.
Michael Jensen, an aspiring journalist whose father happens to be the town sheriff, never imagined that the Bloodless Murders would come to his backyard. Not until the night the Carlson family was found murdered in their home. Marie Catherine Hale, a diminutive fifteen-year-old, was discovered at the scene—covered in blood. She is the sole suspect in custody.
Michael didn’t think that he would be part of the investigation, but he is pulled in when Marie decides that he is the only one she will confess to. As Marie recounts her version of the story, it falls to Michael to find the truth: What really happened the night that the Carlsons were killed? And how did one girl wind up in the middle of all these bodies?
Gr 8 Up-Michael Jenson has always wanted to be a journalist. Over the course of the summer in 1958, Michael has followed what the newspapers have dubbed "the Bloodless Murders"-a string of violent murders across the Midwest where the victims have been found with every drop of blood drained from their bodies-and his daydreams of stumbling across a story this huge grow by the day. Then the unthinkable happens. Michael's small Minnesota town is rocked when the Carlson family is found murdered in their living room, drained of all their blood, with 15-year-old Marie Catherine Hale found lingering in the next room, drenched in blood. Suddenly, Michael is thrust into the national spotlight when Marie insists that she will only tell her story to him. Blake based this story on the real-life murder spree of teenagers Charlie Starkweather and Caril Ann Fugate and the murders of the Clutter family in Holcomb, Kansas. The protagonists are well-developed-timid, polite Michael and bold, headstrong Marie carry the story forward on their own. The scenes in which Marie is recounting the murders to Michael are easily the book's most riveting. Despite the fascinating inspiration and characterization, the novel overall suffers from uneven pacing and a repetitive narrative. However, readers may find the true crime aspect and vague supernatural layer thrilling enough to enjoy the book. VERDICT A quick murder mystery that may not satisfy hardcore thriller fans but will no doubt be extremely popular due to its macabre plot. -Tyler Hixson, Brooklyn P.L..α(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
"Fantastically disturbing and expertly eerie." -- Stephanie Garber, #1 bestselling author of the Caraval series
“A chilling psychological thriller that effectively pulls from true crimes, folklore, and urban legends.” -- Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“An insightful look at our morbid curiosity about murderers.” -- Kirkus Reviews
"Through an assured voice and a vividly wrought small-town atmosphere, Blake swiftly draws readers into this tense historical thriller inspired by a real-life murder spree." -- Publishers Weekly
“Reads like true crime. A chilling descent into the human psyche.” -- Booklist
“Timid, polite Michael and bold, headstrong Marie carry the story forward on their own.” -- School Library Journal
Kendare Blake is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Three Dark Crowns series. She holds an MA in creative writing from Middlesex University in northern London. She is also the author of Anna Dressed in Blood, a Cybils Awards finalist; Girl of Nightmares; Antigoddess; Mortal Gods; and Ungodly. Her books have been translated into over twenty languages, have been featured on multiple best-of-year lists, and have received many regional and librarian awards. Kendare lives and writes in Gig Harbor, Washington. Visit her online at www.kendareblake.com.